Borderfree is what you call an ecommerce order fulfillment provider. Yes, that a big name and a lot of words but what they do lives up to the title. Borderfree works with American online merchants to extend their reach beyond the US border and serve customers in over 100 countries around the world (including Canada, of course). This may sound like a simple task but there are many complex pieces to the shopping puzzle.
You may remember a company called Fiftyone. They opened for business in 2009 and in 2012 they acquired Borderfree from Canada Post and immediately adopted the name. Previous to being bought-out, Canada Post had been providing the exact same order fulfillment service but just between the United States and Canada. Now under one roof, they provide this service to countries around the world. They have found a nice little niche and turned it into a great company. It's really too bad that Canada lost Borderfree to an American company but at least we still have the service.
Canadians are well aware of the pitfalls and surprise shipping costs attached to online cross-border shopping. Unfortunately, most American companies could not be bothered figuring out all the tricks and loop holes that go into servicing customers in foreign countries. Good thing there are companies like Borderfree. They take care of everything that we foreign customers care about most, things like: pricing in your local currency, processing your purchase payment, calculating duties and taxes, dealing with customs and brokerage fees and finally making sure that you receive your delivery on-time and for the price that you were quoted. Even better, they do the cost calculations all before you check-out so you know exactly what your order is going to cost including all the costs imposed by shipping. It really is a very nice system.
Borderfree is very good at keeping shipping costs low. Here at Canbuy.ca we are really big fans of Borderfree because they take so much of the worry out of online cross-border shopping. You know exactly what you will be paying for your order (including that dreaded shipping) before you complete your purchase. Having said this, there are still some fairly big issues that Borderfree cannot get around (at least not yet). Things like there being no free international shipping and the high cost of returns and exchanges. Do not lose sight of the fact that you are buying a product from another country so if you don't like it or it doesn't fit, it may cost you more money to return the item in question. Plus, many merchants do not allow foreign shoppers to make use of coupons and promotional codes. Each merchant has their own terms and conditions so we still need to read the fine print carefully.
Many top American brands are now using Borderfree to reach Canadian shoppers. We recommend that you take a look at our list of Borderfree merchants.